Rissi Palmer pens essay for Whose Country Music?: Genre, Identity, and Belonging in Twenty-First-Century Country Music Culture

In a period in which racism and gender inequity are at the fore of public, political, and scholarly discourse, this collection challenges systems of gatekeeping that have dictated who gets to participate in twenty-first century country music culture. Building on established scholarship, this book examines contemporary issues in country music through feminist, intersectional, and post-colonialist theories, as well as other intertextual and cultural lenses. The authors pose questions about diversity, representation, and identity as they relate to larger concepts of artist and fan communities, stylistic considerations of the genre, and modes of production from a twenty-first century perspective. Addressing and challenging the received narrative about country music culture, this collection delves into the gaps that are inherent in existing approaches that privileged biography and historiography and expands new areas of inquiry relating to contemporary country music identity and culture. Edited by Dr. Jada Watson and Paula J. Bishop, the book features chapters and pieces written by Alice Randall, Kris McCusker, Rachel Skaggs, Sophia Enriquez, Stephanie Vander Wel, Phoebe Hughes, Jocelyn Neal, Leigh H. Edwards, Janet Aspley, Nancy Riley, Kristina Jacobsen, Nadine Hubbs, Rebekah Hutten, Tracey E.W. Laird, and Rissi Palmer. 

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